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25 Mar 2018
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If fishing is your sport then the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia should definitely be on your radar. Designated as one of the premier spots for trout fishing, it really doesn’t matter whether you prefer bait tackle, fly-fishing or spinning, you’re almost guaranteed to return home with a nice hardy fish dinner. There are over 4,000 miles of trout streams In North Georgia and our season begins the last Saturday in March and ends October 31st . Don’t forget a license is required for those fisherman (and fisher-women) 16 years of age and older. You can obtain one at most of the Marinas in the North Georgia area, including Lake Blue Ridge, Carter’s Lake in Ellijay and Lake Nottley in Blairsville. Also the local Walmart’s and many of the gas stations in North Georgia sell them as well. If you want, you can also order one on line or just call1-800-ASK-FISH(275-3474) for additional information.

Now for the bait to reel in that trophy trout. To say there are a few options out there would be an understatement and I am sure every fisherman you meet in North Georgia would you give you a different story on what type of bait brought in the big one. After reviewing several articles and talking to a few locals, here are few suggestions for bait that seem to be fairly consistent in the world of trout fishing; The Rebel Wee Craw, the Trout Worm, Smithwick Rattlin’ Rogue, the Luhr-Jensen Hus Lure, Blue Fox Vibrax and Mister Twister Micro Crawfish and Mite.

So now that you have your license and your bate and you’re ready for some incredible trout fishing in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia… where do you go? Again, there are so many options to choose from but the best way to decide is by your experience level and how deep into the mountains you want to venture. Many of the super popular streams are great for the novice where they heavily stock the waters and access is very easy with parking close by. The downside is you won’t be alone and may not feel you are getting that true Fishing in the North Georgia Mountain experience. The upside, if you’re having some trouble hooking a fish there are plenty of folks around who would be happy to give you some advice and your chances of catching a few trout are very good. If you want the more secluded experience there are an abundance of streams that cut through remote forest sections but you’ll probably have a bit of hiking to do prior to fishing and if the fish aren’t biting you’re on your own.

Other things that you will want to remember to take along to make your Georgia Mountain Trout experience a positive one are plenty of water, some nutritious snacks, a good hat, at least 30 SPF sunscreen. Most important and not to be forgotten a big basket or cooler to bring all those delicious North Georgia Trout home.

Fishing is also a great activity for children and the entire family! If you're planning on taking your child along on a fishing adventure, check out these helpful tips from our friends over at Outdoor Empire for tips on making your fishing trip special with children: https://outdoorempire.com/children-first-fishing-trip/

Here are some suggestions for fishing spots in the Blue Ridge Mountain area:

TOCCOA RIVER: (State Hwys. 2, 5 and 60E)

The Toccoa is stocked above Blue Ridge Dam about every other week during trout season. Most of it is on private land, but much of the section along Rt. 60, near the town of Margaret, flows through National Forest. The river below the dam is very broad in most areas, making it a good choice for fly fishermen. Trout are also stocked regularly in this section. A popular way to fish this area is to float-fish from the dam downstream approximately 15 miles to McCaysville. Use caution. Water levels can rise suddenly. Check dates and times for water releases from Blue Ridge dam at 800-238-2264

SHALLOWFORD BRIDGE/Above the Dam 

Aska Road, Blue Ridge Old steel one-lane bridge over the Toccoa River. Fish under the bridge or along the dirt road to the right following the river on the Benton MacKaye Trail. This is a Delayed Harvest Area, stocked in early November for catch and release only through mid-May.

TAMMEN PARK/Below the Dam, Appalachian Highway 

Blue Ridge A very popular place to fly fish for trout in the tailwaters of the Toccoa River below the Lake Blue Ridge Dam. Call in advance for water-release information 1-800-238-2264. This park also has ball fields, playground equipment and picnic areas.

HORSESHOE BEND PARK/Below the Dam 

 River Road off of Highway 60, McCaysville. Beautiful park with good trout fishing on the Toccoa River. From Blue Ridge take Highway 5 into McCaysville. Turn right onto Highway 60 then drive a short distance and turn right on River Road. The park has a playground, picnic pavilions and restrooms.

ROCK CREEK

Forest Service Rd. 69 off State Rte. 60, Between Morganton and Dahlonega. The Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery is located on Rock Creek. This creek and other nearby streams are stocked with trout from the federal hatchery, which is open year round. Rock Creek also supports good populations of wild trout, including native brook trout in some of the high elevation tributaries. This area is highly used.

COOPER’S CREEK

Hwy. 60 South between Morganton and Dahlonega.
This area offers camping, hiking and trout fishing. Fishing in Cooper Creek and Mulky Creek for stocked and wild trout is popular. From Blue Ridge, take Highway 76 east to Morganton; turn right on Hwy. 60 south toward Dahlonega for 16 miles. Turn left on Forest Service Road 4 for 6 miles.

NOONTOOTLA CREEK

 Forest Service Rd. 58, southeast of Blue Ridge in the Blue Ridge Wildlife Mgmt. Area. The creek and its tributaries are managed to imitate a natural stream with an unharvested trout population, to provide a unique experience that emphasizes catching wild trout for fun, rather than harvest. If you’re lucky and catch a very rare trophy trout that is 16 inches or longer, you may keep it. All smaller trout must be released immediately. Artificial lures only.

JACKS & CONASAUGA RIVERS

Forest Service Roads 22, 64 and 73 off State Rte. 2 west of Blue Ridge.Inside the Cohutta Wilderness there are 45 miles of fishing opportunities on the Jacks (March – Ocober) and Conasauga Rivers (open year round). The Jacks is not stocked, but it contains reproducing trout populations. If you want real wilderness, this is the place. The Forest Service has a detailed map of the wilderness. It is wise to have this map if you plan a fishing or hiking trip to this wild area.

For more information on lake levels and releases, please see www.tva.gov
Toccoa River & Lake Blue Ridge Self-Guided Experience
Upper Toccoa River & Ocoee River Self-Guided Experience